Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, has blind sided his Democratic rival, Illinois Senator Barak Obama, by first agreeing in a personal phone call between the two to issue a joint statement on the Wall Street Crisis, then appearing on television before any statement was agreed to, let alone issued, to say he ‘suspending’ his campaign, skipping the important first debate between the candidates in Mississippi and heading instead for Washington DC to get some face time during the Senate Hearings. The fact that the Arizona Senator seems to be trying to make political hay out the crisis doesn’t seem to be up for debate.
Barak Obama later appeared at a news conference to explain exactly what happened, graciously refraining from criticizing John McCain’s low blow. However, he did quite rightly posit that the next president of the United States will face many instances where they’ll have to do more than one thing at a time and repeated his call for the Mississippi debates to go on as scheduled. This seems reasonable. While the debate in question was to focus primarily on foreign affairs, it seems it would be better to shift that focus to the current financial crisis rather than cancel it altogether. Perhaps this is exactly what Senator McCain is most worried about.
While the mortgage crisis has been on everyone’s radar for weeks and the focus of Congressional hearings for days, Senator McCain’s decision to suspend his campaign seems to more closely coincide with the results of the latest national polls that suggest that more American’s prefer Senator Obama and a Democratic Administration to handle economic issues for the next four years than him. Removing himself from the political fray will have the no doubt unintended effect of insulating him from unscripted questioning on a topic even he admits he doesn’t know much about.
Senator Obama, along with John McCain has accepted an invitation by President George W. Bush to attend a meeting at the White House tomorrow to discuss the issues that will face one of them upon taking office in January of 2009. Mr. Obama then plans to head to Mississippi to meet Mr. McCain at the debate, which at this writing the organizers are still planning to air.
It must be left to the voting public which candidates approach to the current crisis is the better one, but it seems certain that a president who can handle the myriad problems that America will face in the next four years, not just one at a time but as they arise and all together, will be sorely needed, not just for this nation, but for the world in general.